- Story Highlights
- The allegations were first reported in 2012.
- DNA testing led to an arrest and indictment.
- Diego Martin Pena will be sentenced Nov. 22.
A Georgia man who impregnated a 15-year-old after he had molested her for three years could face life in prison, Murray County officials said Tuesday.
A jury convicted Diego Martin Pena, 39, of White, on child molestation, aggravated child molestation and statutory rape charges, Conasauga Judicial District Attorney Bert Poston said in a news release. Poston presides over Murray and Whitfield counties.
The abuse occurred between 2008 and 2011 when the victim was between 11 and 14 years old. Poston told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Pena was a friend of the victim’s father.
CRIME & PUBLIC SAFETY: Want more stories like this one? Go to www.myajc.com/crime/
An investigation was launched in 2012 through Murray County Schools after the then-15-year-old became pregant, Poston said. Officials initially thought the father was a boy close to the victim’s age.
In 2014, when the victim moved out of Georgia, DNA test results ruled Pena was the father.
Poston said the Murray County Sheriff’s Office opened an investigation and requested additional DNA testing on Pena, who was eventually indicted.
Pena will be sentenced Nov. 22. He could get life in prison on the aggravated child molestation charge plus 20 years on both the statutory rape and child molestation charges, Poston said. The sentences would run consecutively.
In other news:
Know what’s really going on with crime and public safety in your metro Atlanta community, including breaking news, trial coverage, trends and the latest on unsolved cases. Sign up for the AJC’s crime and safety newsletter delivered weekly to your inbox.